Weekend walk: Colne

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with Bob Clare of www.lancashirewalks.com

Boundary Mill is one of Lancashire’s great success stories. Established in the 1990s as a discount clothing and fashion store by 2008 it had developed into a super store at the eastern end of the M65 motorway on a site employing over 900 people. Everybody loves to shop there. Well… there is a small category of visitors who prefer to sit in the waiting area while their spouses or partners immerse themselves in the benefits of retail therapy. This is a walk for those who go to Boundary Mill under sufferance because the good news is that Colne is in easy reach of some beautiful countryside – which is another Lancashire success story.




Distance: 5 miles

Time: 2 – 3 hours

Grade: Moderate.

Map: OS OL South Pennines

Note: At the time of writing and for some weeks afterwards the Canal and River Trust are engaged in repairs and improvements at Barrowford Locks which may necessitate diversions.


1.The walk starts opposite Banny’s British Kitchen Restaurant at the entrance to the car park. Facing the motorway roundabout locate a small metal gateway and through it join a footpath leading down to a housing complex. Keep ahead through a gate and after crossing a yard pass behind houses on an enclosed path to reach a drive. This leads to Greenfield Road NCN Route68. Turn right. Follow a chain link fence to reach busy Whitewall Drive A6068. Using the pedestrian lights cross turn left and then right into the continuation of Greenfield Road. There is a choice of turning left through the local nature reserve on a path which follows Colne Water before turning right up a rise to thread its way past a terrace of houses to reach the Leeds Liverpool Canal. Keeping on Greenfield Road will bring you to the same point. This is where restoration work is taking place and it may be necessary to follow diversions. The idea now is to follow the canal under the motorway and Colne Road bridge alongside the locks until you reach Bridge 144.

2. Turn left over the bridge on a quiet lane that climbs away from the waterway. In a little under 200yds take a public footpath on the right that crosses two fields in the first keeping to the fence on the right. When you reach Barnoldswick Road cross to the drive of East Stonedge. Walk up towards the impressive house and locate a gate in a fence on the left. Through this follow the path through trees to a gate on the left. This leads into a field. Turn right and climb up to a small wooden gate near the top of a slope. Through this keep ahead to reach a metal gate leading onto an enclosed grassy track. Follow this to the next farm – Great Stonedge – and then bear left onto its drive which leads down to the outskirts of Blacko. On arriving at the first property bear right on an enclosed path and descend to a track close to a converted chapel. Turn right. Keep on this track – also enclosed until you come to Beverley Road. Cross to a footpath on the far side and continue with the field boundary to your left. As you near Burnt House Farm keep to its left accessing its yard by a metal gate (with a telephone pole to the right). Keep ahead through the yard and after a wooden gate continue with the fence on the left until you reach Barnoldswick Road. Walk 50yds along the road to the first gateway on the right and then turn sharply right over a stile following a path that hugs the road all the way to the Cross Gaits Inn. At this corner turn left on a narrow enclosed path leading downhill at first to a footbridge and then on a wider track to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

3. Cross the bridge and bear right on a track leading to a stone stile and a meadow. Keep on the path as it brings you to a squeeze stile onto the lane close to Blakey Bridge. Turn left across the bridge and then immediately right on a broad track across a field. On the far side bear left onto a walled wooded drive which leads to Barrowford Road. Cross to a footpath that will take you through trees to Vivary Way in front of Boundary Mill Store. Cross with care and use the pedestrian path to take you to the car park access on the far side of the building.

- Walk devised by Edward Walton Vice Chair, Burnley Civic Trust.

- Bob’s walks are now available as digital guides on the iFootpath website and App (see iFootpath.com).